Have you ever done a search for The Best WordPress Hosting Companies or maybe The Fastest WordPress Hosting Companies or what I consider the worst choice to search for, The Cheapest WordPress Hosting Companies? Nearly all of the articles you’ll find are garbage and need to be taken with a grain of salt.

I have read dozens of articles relating to the best WordPress hosting for your website, and what they all have in common is that they include a ton of referral links. That wouldn’t be so bad if I knew that the author had recent personal experience with each and every company, but they often don’t.

One of the funniest articles I’ve read relating to the best WordPress hosts was a list post that included about a dozen different options and they were listed in the order of biggest affiliate payout to the smallest and the article only included web hosts that had affiliate programs.

You end up on that article due to a Google search and don’t realize that they are all affiliate links. The basic information about each company is listed and you think you are getting a good deal, so you click the link, subscribe to the service and are horrified when you need customer service and there is no one willing to really help you with anything. They got your money, the author of the article got their money, and you are left back where you started: looking for a company that will treat you and your website right.

The most painful part is when I read a top hosting list that includes some great companies but for some reason, they’ve been interspersed with companies that I know aren’t good. Maybe it is because those good companies have affiliate programs as well, or maybe it is to try to bring legitimacy to their article? I am not sure, but I feel like more people need to be careful with regards to their selection.

When you land on a best WordPress hosting list, make sure you look at how old the article is and check the post for any relationships between the author and the hosting companies they point to. Companies are constantly being acquired in the WordPress space, and a good host six months ago might be a horrible hosting service provider today.

Some Quick Tips

  • Contracts are fine, but only when you know for sure the company is good. Don’t sign up for a year or two years with a hosting company before you’ve tested them out. Often companies that get you to sign-up for multiple years don’t have good refund options.
  • Search their brand. Take a moment to search on your favourite search engine for Hosting Company Name Sucks and go through some of the results.
  • Race to the bottom pricing is just a way to sign you up. Often, the lowest cost plan is used to get you in the door, and if you have any reasonable traffic or require any support, you’ll get pushed up the product chain.
  • Watch out for big sales. Big sales or discounts are almost always running on the bigger web hosts, but if it is too good to be true, it likely is. Anything over a 60% discount is a warning sign. Usually, the discount only applies to the first bill and then you pay the normal price, so make sure you consider the full price when selecting a hosting partner.
  • Look out for hidden costs like migrations or SSLs. Nearly every web host provides site migrations and SSL certificates these days, so don’t be afraid to move. But if they don’t promote that they do free migrations or provide free SSLs make sure to contact them before signing up as the companies that don’t provide free migrations or SSLs will expect you to do the migration yourself or pay them a good amount of money.
  • Unlimited is marketing, not reality. If they list unlimited with regards to bandwidth, storage space, or the number of sites you can host on your account, they are lying and you should know better!
  • Avoid Endurance International Group (EIG) Hosting owned web hosts like Bluehost. Some of them used to be good before they were bought but aren’t any longer. (Ed Note. Why A Small Orange… why did you have to sell to them?) A quick Google search will fill you in on why you should avoid them, despite many Top WordPress Webhosting posts you read putting them at the top of their list!

Good Hosting Indicators

  • A good web host will focus on features over pricing. They should want to convince you that they are doing what’s best for your website, not what is cheapest.
  • A good web host will have an easy to use website that guides you through the purchasing process. If you feel confused during purchasing, you’ll likely feel confused post-purchase.

Our Recommendations

Of course, after writing this article, I have to preface this with the fact that these choices are based on our personal experiences with these service providers and we are more technical than most, so your mileage may vary.

Cloudways – Basically providing servers from popular services including DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google’s Cloud Platform, Cloudways makes it easy for non-technical people to have powerful hosting infrastructure at their fingertips as well as support for when things go wrong. They charge a premium over the costs of just setting up a VPS yourself, but the extra peace of mind is worth it.